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Jan W. Brascamp, Raymond van Ee, Wiebe R. Pestman, Albert V. van den Berg; Distributions of alternation rates in various forms of bistable perception. Journal of Vision 2005;5(4):1. doi: 10.1167/5.4.1.
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© 2015 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Studying the temporal dynamics of bistable perception can be useful for understanding neural mechanisms underlying the phenomenon. We take a closer look at those temporal dynamics, using data from four different ambiguous stimuli. We focus our analyses on two recurrent themes in bistable perception literature. First, we address the question whether percept durations follow a gamma distribution, as is commonly assumed. We conclude that this assumption is not justified by the gamma distribution’s approximate resemblance to distributions of percept durations. We instead present two straightforward distributions of reciprocal percept durations (i.e., rates) that both easily surpass the classic gamma distribution in terms of resemblance to empirical data. Second, we compare the distributions arising from binocular rivalry with those from other forms of bistable perception. Parallels in temporal dynamics between those classes of stimuli are often mentioned as an indication of a similar neural basis, but have never been studied in detail. Our results demonstrate that the distributions arising from binocular rivalry and other forms of bistable perception are indeed similar up to a high level of detail.
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